Tag Archives: median voter

Party Power or Preferences? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from American State Legislatures

Cox, Kousser, and McCubbins want to show that agenda control matters. They did. But without meaning to, they also showed that persuasive leaders and party cohesion matter even more. Consider why some bills can get through a legislature but others can’t. Perhaps (1) legislator preferences are all that matters; liberal legislators vote for liberal bills […]

Constituents’ Responses to Congressional Roll-Call Voting

Voters really do hold members of Congress accountable for their voting records. Turns out that democracy works, at least when it comes to voters holding members of Congress accountable for their voting record. For accountability to happen, we need to see three things: (1) Voters need to have specific opinions on specific issues before Congress; […]

Candidate Positioning and Voter Choice

The lengthy previous literature on candidate positioning has failed to distinguish empirically between these three theories–something that Tomz and Van Houweling (claim to) do in this article. Issue-based voting seems simple enough on its face: Support the candidate who will produce the policies you want. Simple as it sounds, though, there are three competing theories […]

Does the Citizen Initiative Weaken Party Government in the U.S. States?

Democratic governments tax the most; Republicans tax the least; divided governments are in the middle. But here’s the rub: these relationships disappear in states with direct democracy. When Progressive reformers first championed adoption of the citizen initiative and other direct democracy institutions, a major reason was to limit the ability of political parties to pursue […]